DeCosters lose appeal in Salmonella outbreak case
Former egg company executives must be incarcerated for three months
A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that sentenced former egg company executives Austin “Jack” DeCoster and Peter DeCoster to serve three months in prison.
The court case stems from a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that was traced back to Quality Egg, the DeCosters’ former company. In the outbreak, as many as 56,000 people became sick after consuming eggs that had been contaminated with Salmonella. The outbreak also led to the recall of 550 eggs.
The court on July 6 not only upheld the prison sentences, but also the order in which both DeCosters were to complete a year of probation and pay a $100,000 fine, reported the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.
The DeCosters were sentenced in April 2015 but have been free while they appealed the sentences. The two pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Attorneys representing the father and son had argued that they do not deserve jail time saying federal prosecutors found no evidence that they were aware Quality Egg was selling tainted eggs.
Quality Egg was previously fined $6.8 million. Another Quality Egg manager, Tony Wasmund, plead guilty to charges of bribery conspiracy after he and another employee bribed a USDA inspector in hopes of releasing pallets of eggs that had been retained for not meeting federal standards.